Downtown Dallas doesn't offer much it terms of grocery stores. Urbanmarket closed earlier this year because it couldn't find is place in the fickle grocery-shopping patterns of downtown residents. Other than that, CVS and 7-Eleven are the choices. It's like a grocery store desert -- with lots of tall buildings and stoplights.
Starting this week the online specialty-food home delivery company, Artizone, is offering a new option for downtown residents. This Thursday, they're setting-up shop from 4:30 to 7 p.m. at 555 Ross Ave. (behind the Spaghetti Warehouse where Munger dead ends at Record) for customers to pick up orders.
Artizone has an interesting skill set. They're not like a CSA or vegetable delivery service (like Greenling); although they do provide vegetables, it's not their specialty.
Instead, Artizone works with local specialty food vendors (bakers, cheese artisans, etc.) to offer a variety of goods. For instance, on the Artizone website you could toss into your cart: Greek yogurt from Three Happy Cows, milk from County Line Farms, coffee from Noble Coyote, pasta from Holy Ravioli, a wedge of Barely Buzzed cheese from Scardello, a baguette from Empire Baking Co. Oh. And some Crack-in-a-Box from Dude, Sweet Chocolate. And some grapes for good measure, like a bottle of 2009 Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc.
The Artizone site has a list of all their "shops," which includes 44 different vendors. Buying through them does help a lot of local vendors. They also pull from a stock of regular grocery store items to fill in the gaps. Normally all of this is delivered via an Artizone van to your doorstep.
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Now, however, customers also have the option to schedule a pickup in downtown every Thursday between 4:30 and 7 p.m., where the goods will be delivered directly to your car, concierge-style.
Artizone is kicking off with a "chill-out" party this Thursday evening from 5 to 7 p.m. at the new pickup location. There will be free drinks and food from Kaurina's Kulfi, La Duni, Scardello, Noble Coyote Coffee Roasters and a few more vendors. The Davis Burris jazz band will be providing the musical ambiance.
To be clear, you can't shop here; you can only pick-up your online order.
I'm interested to see how this goes. I'm rooting for them (Artizone and the grocery-store deprived people of downtown).